Four Nigerian Banks Make List of Best in Africa Amid Economic Crises

Four Nigerian Banks Make List of Best in Africa Amid Economic Crises

  • A new survey has revealed that four banks with Nigerian ownership are among the best in Africa
  • The survey identified UBA, GTBank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank as key banks in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria
  • This is in spite of challenging environments, owing to the economic turmoil that was experienced during the period journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over 3 years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

The 2024 World's Best Banks survey has been released with four Nigerian banks listed among the best in Africa.

UBA, GTB, other Nigerian banks among best in Africa
Despite economic crises, UBA, GTB, other Nigerian banks rank high in Africa. Photo credit: The trusted advisor
Source: UGC

The survey published by Global Finance, a monthly financial magazine, showed that UBA, GTBank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria, respectively, made the list.

The report stated:

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“Banks in Africa have recently been operating in challenging environments owing to economic turmoil. The stress factor has been particularly elevated in big economies. Amid the harsh environment, African banks’ top leadership and management have demonstrated shrewdness and prowess.”

It added that banks are resilient rather than collapsing. Some are even reporting earnings that break records, and the local currency crises in Nigeria and Egypt have been disastrous.

However, the ripple effects for banks have heightened risks to asset quality. In South Africa, for instance, economic growth plummeted to 0.6% in 2023 from 1.9% in 2022 due to weakness in vital industries such as mining, energy, logistics, construction, and trade.

Top performing banks

According to Global Finance, Standard Bank, the regional champion, topped the group, with headline earnings rising by 27% to $2.3 billion from $1.7 billion and return on equity increasing to 18.8% from 16.3%.

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It stated that Zenith Bank posted a triple-digit profit increase in despite Nigeria's economic crisis. The bank reported a 149% increase in earnings before taxes to $368.4 million in the third quarter of last year from $146.3 million in the same period in 2022.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is seen as a crucial foundation for development, according to the report, which also notes that UBA, the winner in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, was an official sponsor and significant supporter of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum in February.

“Ironically, Burkina Faso has joined with Mali and Niger to form a separate alliance and exited the bloc, to which it contributed about 8% of GDP. The country, together with Niger, also intends to leave the West African Economic and Monetary Union, whose members use the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro. These developments are enormous threats to UBA.”

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The bank has been developing a plan centred on trade financing, remittances, and international payments, all affiliated with the two monetary and economic groups.

According to the report, UBA in Burkina Faso is committed to continuing operations despite increasing political risks.

“GTBank is our winner as Best Bank in the Gambia. The bank is not only using its extensive branch network to build partnerships with public bodies to collect revenue but is also deploying digital channels to increase retail-market p*netration.”

The report also said that the Ghanaian economy is beginning to stabilise following a period of instability.

It added that Access Bank, the nation's winner, is already feeling the effects, with net profits rising by 47.1% to $34.4 million in Q3 from $23.3 million in 2022.

Nigerians keep over N72tn in banks

Earlier, reported that six Nigerian banks boast a substantial customer deposit in excess of N72.3 trillion after the first quarter of 2024.

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The figure is significantly higher when all 44 deposit money banks licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria customers deposits are considered.

The banks analysed include Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO Plc), Wema Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at


Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science ( degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via

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